The Christmas Box is a short novel written by New York Times bestselling author Richard Paul Evans. He did not originally intend it to become a book; it was merely a story he would tell his two younger daughters aloud, never committing it to paper. However, when they loved the story so much that they pleaded with him to make it into a novel, Evans relented, and self-published the book, which quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Like many of Evans' other novels, the plot takes place around Christmastime, and contains many of the lessons that Christmas tries to teach us, but that have been lost in the over-commercialism of the season. Evans stated that each year it seems that whilst the lessons contained in the Christmas Box are needed more and more, they are heeded less and less.
The Christmas Box tells the story of Richard and his wife Keri, and small daughter Jenna, characters he names after himself and his family so that the reader is never sure if the novel is fiction, spiritual teaching or memoir. Perhaps it is a combination of all three. Finding themselves desperately short of space in their one-room apartment, the family move into the home of an old woman named Mary, who quickly becomes part of their family, and who takes it upon herself to teach Richard the very important life lessons that she feels he has forgotten; seeing how much time he spends on his work and new business, she makes it her mission to remind him of how fleeting childhood actually is, and that the most important job he has as a parent is spending time with his daughter. The book also brings up the issue of faith, and of what those who have passed are trying to tell us from the afterlife. It is designed to be a beautiful story of faith, love and the true meaning of Christmas at the fore.
Richard Paul Evans tells the story of Mary in his prequel to this novel, "The Timepiece". He is the author of over ten books that have been worldwide bestsellers; a former advertising executive, he lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, the city he bases the majority of his novels in. In this novel, the cemetery where Mary's daughter Andrea is buried, and where he encounters the real stone angel from his dreams, are in Salt Lake City, and readers are encouraged to both visit, and make a donation to upkeep the cemetary in Andrea's name.